Thursday, September 30, 2010

September, Please Don't Leave

Dear September

Are you sure you have to leave us tonight?  Surely you haven't been with us for 30 days already?  Time has gone by so fast.

We have had some gorgeous days and fun times together as we shared the last days of summer and first days of autumn.  We had some vacation time together, went to some fairs and concerts, visited family, and even celebrated my brother's wedding.  But there was so much more I wanted us to do together.  I wanted us to spend more time in the garden and flower beds.  I wanted to plant my fall bulbs with you.  

Sure, there were some miserable days when I didn't want to get out of bed and face the day you were throwing at me, but I thought that we were past all of that.  I thought that we were still going to do all these things together.  Most of our time was happy.  Why can't you stay a little longer to create more happy memories?

It's not that I have anything against October, who I know will take your place as soon as you are gone.  It's just that October days are cooler, darker and drearier than your September days.  Even though October brings us the family and food of Thanksgiving, beautiful fall leave, pumpkins and gourds as well as the spooky fun of Halloween, I am just not ready for you to leave.  Most of all, October brings us closer to the dreaded snow and cold of winter.

Please, September, I beg you to stay just a little longer with your warm sunny days and cool, fresh nights.  I would be very happy if you were still here when I wake up in the morning.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I would give just about anything to get to have a nap after lunch everyday.  To curl up with a blanket and pillow and sleep for two hours would be heaven on earth for me.

Yet, the toddlers at work who need the naps so often went nothing to do with nap time.

First off, who decided that toddlers need nap time more than adults?  We work hard all day, often stay up later than we would like fulfilling our parental duties or finishing household chores while they go to bed early and, well, SLEEP.  Then, we get up early so that we can shower and get dressed in peace before the kids get up and destroy the house that we stayed up late cleaning (while they were SLEEPING) the night before.  And did I mention that we work hard all day while they play?

And then there's the fact that you have to fight with them so that they will sleep - rubs their backs, sing lullabies, read stories - all of it just about puts me to sleep everyday as we fight to get these darlings settled for their naps.  Once they are sleep, we have to tiptoe around to keep them asleep or at least quite for two hours.

Now don't get me wrong, there are some who fall straight to sleep and stay asleep for the full two hours (and I thank my lucky stars everyday that Liam is one of those ones!) but all the rest exhaust me and make me want to give up and go home for a nap of my own!

Monday, September 20, 2010


You are probably thinking I am going to write about the yummy chocolate kind, chewy and yummy, maybe the Rocky Road kind with gooey marshmallows on top or with fudge icing on top . . . but, no, I am not talking about the Brownies that you eat.

I am talking about the little girls, 7 and 8 years old, dressed with matching orange shirts, the ones that knock on your door every Spring and Fall selling the infamous Girl Guide Cookies, yeah, those Brownies.  I am a Brownie Leader, just starting my 6th year as Brown Owl of my local unit.  

Tonight was our first meeting of the year.  Time to get reacquainted with the returning girls, to see if they have matured at all since May.  And time to meet the new girls and see what challenges they will add to the mix.  Time to start harassing parents for the help and support needed to run the unit efficiently, I mean meet the parents and see how they can help.  

Now that we have met the girls, it is time to start planning . . . crafts, games, outings, Thanksgiving, Halloween, badges, cookie selling, songs . . . the list of ideas goes on and on forever.  If only there was the same amount of time in my day to plan the ideas that I have in my head!  Only time will tell how many and which of these ideas I have bouncing around in my brain will actually come to life.  It looks like we have a small group this year (only 11 girls as of right now) which will make things like crafts easier to prepare but it will make other things (such as outings that require minimum numbers) more difficult.  Every year has a new set of challenges and I hope that I am up for it this year!

First on the agenda is to sort through the mountain of enrollment paper work that I have accumulated and  figure out what stays with me and what I get to send off to Head Office . . . and then book our first outing to the Pumpkin Patch.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Notice to Vacate

Dear Allergies

Please accept this as a formal request to vacate my head and sinuses immediately.  Despite my numerous informal pleas for you to leave, you are still violating many of the terms of our agreement.

Our agreement stated that if you were going to reside in my head, it would have to be essentially symptom free.  My constant stuffy nose and itchy watery eyes, both caused by you not only cause physical discomfort, but mental anguish.  You keep me up at night, leaving me exhausted and cranky during the day.  I am miserable because of you, Allergies.

Aside from physical and mental discomforts, you are causing me financial strain.  I rely on costly pills in an attempt to keep you under control.  And I am sure that with the amount of Kleenex I use, I am personally responsible for the deforestation of a rain forest somewhere.

I am sick and tired (both literally and figuratively) of you and all the problems and issues that you have been responsible for over the years that you have resided in my head.  I was young and foolish when I entered into this agreement with you.  I will not longer tolerate you and your nonsense.  If you do not leave on your own accord, I will be forced to take more drastic measures.

Thank you for your immediate co-operation.

Monday, September 13, 2010

McLaren Family Labour Day Weekend Corn Roast

Every year my family gets together at my grandparent's lot on the Ottawa River for a Corn Roast on the Sunday of Labour Day Weekend.  This year was no exception.  The weather wasn't as nice as we would have liked, it was cloud and a little bit on the cool side and there were even a few showers, but that didn't stop us.  We visited, boiled corn in big pots over the fire, threw hot dogs and burgers on the BBQ and ate until we couldn't eat anymore!

And as always, I took a million photos of Liam enjoying the day!

New York State Fair Trip - According to Liam

When Mom and Dad starting talking about going to the fair, I had no idea what they were talking about.  They said that I was there last year, but I don't remember, I was too little.  It was a long car ride to get there, but once we were there, it was so much fun!!

There were so many animals to look at . . . pigs, cows, chickens, bunnies, goats, ducks, llama, every where I looked there was another animal!  I like animals, so that was fun!

The Butter Sculpture . . . When I grow up, I want to be a Butter Sculptor!  Imagine the mess I could make with that!

Really, why do I need to wear shoes in the stroller?  You can put them back on me every time I want to get out, can't you?  

So, they put me on a leash and took me for a walk!  But it was so much fun!  I like my dog friend and I like to be able to go where I want to go instead of holding hands and only going where Mom and Dad want to go!
Waiting for the Lady Antebellum Concert sucked!  It was so hot, look at my sweaty head!  And there were too many people for me to get done and play.  AND they went and tied my balloon to my arm.  What the heck is up with that?  I wanted to play with the balloon, but I didn't want it tied to me!  Sometimes Mom and Dad just don't get me!

And then the concert started!  Lady Antebellum.

I clapped and cheered for the music!  And even danced a little bit in Dad's arms.  I would have danced more if I could have gotten down on the ground!

I was so tired when we got back to the hotel that I fell asleep before Mom and Dad even turned out all the lights!  It was a busy day, but can we go back tomorrow??

Hotel rooms are so much fun!!  I could turn the TV on by myself.  I could jump on the bed.  Daddy even taught me how to have a pillow fight!  Can we go to a hotel every week?

Daddy put me in here to drive, but they didn't leave me the keys.  I so totally could have driven it, if they'd given me the keys!

Daddy and I waiting to see the police dogs!  It didn't really sit and wait, I was too excited to see the dogs.  But once they came out, I watched!  

When the show was over, I got to pet the police dog!  He was such a good boy, he gave me a kiss and didn't even take my cookie!  Wonder if he can come teach my dogs some better manners!
Watching TV and playing with Daddy.  I can't believe how big this bed is!  Dad, you need to get a bed like this at home for us to play on!

Eating potato chips in bed . . . does life get any better than this?  We should really do this every weekend!

One minute I was wide awake and full of energy . . . 

Then all of a sudden, I was out like light!  Fairs make me sleepy!

So, Mom tells me that this is a giraffe.  I really don't know what it is, but it's got a HUGE tongue!  And I got to feed it some carrots!

Napping in my stroller again . . . 

Dancing and cheering at another concert.  (Justin Moore)

I love the cows!  They are my favorite farm animal.  I said goodbye to them when we left.
Nobody told me that there would be bath time on our holidays.  That's not fair.  I am on holidays, I should be allowed to stay dirty!

The last night in the hotel, I didn't want to go to sleep.  I played and played and played until mom and dad finally insisted that I go to bed.  Then I played in my bed for a long time before I finally went to sleep.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


After my week off, I returned to work on Tuesday to complete and utter chaos!  And I really wasn't ready for it!  Now, before anyone misinterprets what I am saying, it isn't like the place when to hell without me or anything, it is just a case of bad timing!

September is always a BUSY time for us.  Lots of kids moving from the toddler program to the preschool program, which in turn means new toddlers!  Some of them are from the infant program and some of them are new to the daycare but in my years of doing this job, I have found that it doesn't matter where they are coming from, it can be a very difficult transition.  We have had so many kids come into the toddler program since July, I have completely lost count!  All of the kids that were in my group in June are gone and I have five completely different kids!

Some of the new ones are really not enjoying daycare right now, so there is a lot of crying.  They don't know the routines, so it takes longer and a lot more effort to get anything accomplished.  And to top it all off, we have a new ECE teacher.  Don't get me wrong, I really like her (and I helped hire her!) and she is really good, but she is new!  And it takes even the best new staff time to get accustomed to a new job!

I know that in a week or two, things will be back to normal and this will become a distant memory.  But right now, there is absolutely now way to describe it but pure and utter chaos!  Which leads to pure and utter exhaustion on my part . . . 

Next week is Brownie registration and meetings start the following week . . . time to get organized!

Oh, and my brother is getting married this weekend, and I volunteered to do a bunch of baking which I haven't started yet (yes, I know that it is Wednesday!)  Did I mention CHAOS??

So, my poor blog has been neglected this week.  And probably will be for the rest of the week.  But don't worry, there will be a vacation post with pictures from our trip to Syracuse to the New York State Fair.  And a wedding post and who know what else!  As long as I survive the chaos!